We spent the last few days visiting with good friends. They have a 4500 square foot home filled to the brim with stuff. The pantry was crammed with cereal boxes. The kitchen cupboards were spilling over with dishes and Tupperware. The fridge was stocked with enough food to feed a family of 24. The bathroom had every imaginable soap or shampoo you would ever need. The family room had the latest in electronic gadgets including TiVo’s, DCR’s, Wii’s and more.
When I arrived back home, I looked around my own home. I have no right to criticize my good friends because my home was no different. I walked around my house with a fresh perspective. I made a mental list:
2 sets of silverware
2-dozen wine glasses
3 closets full of clothes
10 boxes of Christmas decorations
4 boxes of DVD’s and CD’s
and so on!
What was I doing with all of this stuff? That Sunday morning I spent some time sorting my abundance. The biggest challenge was trying to decide if it was important enough to keep or to throw out or donate to Goodwill. We ended our weekend with a cathartic trip in our Ford Ranger to the Algona dump near our house.
What surprised me the most is that while I was sorting my old textbooks or rummaging through a box of Christmas decorations, I never thought about any of these items until they were right before my eyes. I never missed them!
What does this tell me? I have spent the last 7 years accumulating way too many possessions that do not give me joy. They do not serve a purpose. My home represents a lifestyle of material abundance. What do I have that represents the abundance of happiness and joy?
I need to lose this physical mass (3 coffee makers?) and focus on spiritual and mindful abundance. This means spending time and energy on what makes me a better mother, wife, friend, and person.
Instead of going to the mall tomorrow, I am going to call a friend and go for coffee. It’s not much but it is a start.